Personal Safety in Public

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Handbag Safety:

There are a number of ways to reduce the chance of your handbag / wallet etc being taken.
This crime is easy pickings for offenders and it requires little planning and will take the victim by surprise.

  • Carry your bag so it can not be snatched from behind.
  • When walking near moving vehicles, hold your bag on the side away from the traffic.
  • Avoid isolated areas.
  • Consider keeping your cards, keys and mobile phone separate from your bag.
  • Never let your bag out of your sight.
  • When shopping secure your bag to the trolley.
  • Never leave bag open.
  • Keep your doors locked when travelling in a motor vehicle.
  • Ensure people can not lean into vehicle through open windows.
  • Keep your bags out of sight.
  • Park in places where there is a lot of people.
  • Check before you get out of your car for any suspicious people loitering nearby.
  • Never leave bags / valuables on display in an unattended vehicle.
  • Have your keys in your hand when you return to your car. Means you can unlock your car immediately.
  • Hold onto handbag until inside of vehicle, don't place on ground or roof of car.

ATM / Credit Card Safety:

Withdraw only small amounts of money from ATM machines at any one time.

  • Try to shop using only cards, reduce the amount of cash you carry.
  • Shield your PIN number, be alert for people watching you, this is often called shoulder surfing.
  • If you have to use an ATM at night try to find one in an area that is busy and well lit.
  • Carry only the cards you require at that time leave the rest at home.
  • Keep record and account numbers of all credit cards at home.
  • Never supply anyone your PIN number. Banks and Police do not even require them.
  • Don't have easily guessed PIN Numbers.
  • Try to memorise your number.
  • Use different PINS for different cards.
  • Match credit cards statements with your receipts.
  • Report any theft or loss of card immediately to your bank

What to look for in a Car park:

You are not always going to see the bad guy, but there are things to be aware of that can assist.

  • Cars with several persons in it, waiting in the car park, often wearing hoods etc.
  • Vehicles backed into car park with driver sitting in it. Maybe aiming for quick getaway.
  • Vehicles with engines running.
  • Suspicious people waiting close to a vehicle whose driver is waiting in the vehicle.
  • Vehicles missing number plates or have plates that are incorrectly attached, indicating possible stolen plate.

Most of these offenders do not wish confrontation, if they feel they have been sprung they will normally leave.

  • Make it obvious you are watching them.
  • Take note of registration.
  • Speak to security about the vehicle or persons.
  • While watching use a mobile phone, either to call or pretend to.

Obtaining a Good Description:

Obtaining good descriptions of offenders or vehicles can help the police to catch these people.

If you see someone acting suspiciously write down what you see as soon as possible.
If you write down a reg number on paper or something do not throw it away, this is good evidence.

Describe the following of offender:

* Male or Female
* Age Group
* Race
* Height
* Body size
* Hair cut
* Hair Colour
* Headwear
* Clothing
* Footwear
* What are they carrying
* Facial Features
* Facial Hair
* Tattoos
* Jewellery / Piercings
* Glasses

Describe the following of vehicle:

* Registration Number, if possible check both plates the same.
* Colour
* Make and Model
* Any Damage
* State of vehicle, was it rusty etc.
* Any writings on it.
* Any attachments like roof racks etc.
* Direction of travel when it left.

Reporting on suspicious activity:

Keep record of the time and date of your observations.

  • If suspicious person observed or crime being committed phone 111 and ask for police.
  • Give you name address and phone number.
  • Stay on the phone.
  • If you can safely, keep watching and write down any further description.

Remember not everyone is out there to get you, the vast majority of us are good people going about our lawful business.

  • No property is worth being hurt or killed for.
  • Do as you are told if confronted.
  • Be vigilant
  • Call police immediately whenever you see a suspicious person or vehicle.

 

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